Play therapy is a therapeutic approach based on developmental principles for ages 4-12. It’s a process where the child chooses objects, symbols, or types of play to express their inner concerns or work through particular problems. Play therapy is only offered by trained child therapists who are skilled in interpreting the child’s play.
How is it different from the play my child does on his/her own?
Play is generally important to your child’s development because it offers them the opportunity to make sense of their world and helps them rehearse for adult life. In play therapy the therapist is trained to read the metaphors of the play and observe emerging patterns.
The main goals of play therapy, regardless of the symptoms, are to help the child regain their former level of functioning, enhance self‐esteem and build the child’s coping resources.
In play therapy the child uses the whole self (mind & body) to express unconscious thoughts, fears, anxieties and wishes, etc., which helps them process or resolve “stuck” thoughts and feelings. This often happens in subtle ways, with effects noticed in the child’s daily functioning.
The amount of sessions depends on the presenting problem and level of family support. For example, longer term work may be necessary for children who have experienced trauma related to death, divorce, accidents, medical trauma and physical or sexual abuse.
The fee for this type of therapy ranges from $125-$160 per session.